Konrad Zuse: The First Automatic Calculating Machine

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Konrad Zuse was a German civil engineer from Technical University in Berlin. Zuse invented the first automatic calculating machine during 1935-1938 and called it V1 and it was the size of a pool table. Zuse later changed the name to Z1 so that it would not be confused with the German rocket V1. Z1 was a binary mechanical calculator; it executed instructions read from punch cards and metallic shafts that could shift from position 0 to 1 (O 'Regan). Zuse invented Z1 to speed up calculation while studying the construction of buildings and roads. These types of constructions involved huge systems of linear equations that were tedious to perform given the level of technology at that time which was the logarithm rule and basic mechanical calculators …show more content…
Zuse used old movie films to store the program instead of paper tape or punch cards. Z3 had the clock speed of 5Hz that was faster than the 3Hz clock speed of the Z2 and could do addition and subtraction in less than a second. It could store program instruction unlike its predecessors, solving the problem of inputting the program every time before using it. Z3 could also convert decimals to binaries and back again. It was later on proven to be Turing complete, which means that given the; appropriate algorithms, necessary time and memory, it could solve the same problems that the Turing machine could. It was also the first digital computer since it predates the ABC by one year (O 'Regan). Z3 was very similar to the modern day computers that we use since it was also based on Von Neumann architecture, the only difference was that it couldn’t store the program in it’s memory with some ones work on it, however it could store the original program that was unworked on by anyone. Z3 took computing from analog to …show more content…
Since Z3 was so successful it meant that Zuse could now carry out his plan of building a general-purpose computer for the German military. Zuse wanted to build a computer that the German military could use in it routine service during the war. By the time the Z4 was complete the war had ended but it was still the first general purpose digital computer invented. Z4’s biggest difference from Z3 was that it’s memory unit was bigger than the Z3. The construction of Z4 was straight forward but however was hampered by Allied bomb raids. Zuse’s workshop was damaged several times due to which they had to relocate the construction site of the Z4 multiple times, which would require dismantling the Z4 and put it together again, hindering its construction and so the Z4 was completed by the end of the war. After post war conditions stabilized the Z4 was rebuilt and rented to ETH that is a university for technology and natural sciences in Zurich and therefore Z4 was the first commercial computer in operation in the world. Where it became the focus of a significant of pioneering work on computers in Europe and in fact for a limited duration the Z4 was the only functional digital computer in all of Europe and so it became the inspiration of many European computer pioneers (Ceruzzi). Z4 was a very reliable machine during it four years of operation at ETH, it could even operate

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